Gophers Rally in Eighth Inning to Take Game One of Doubleheader
April 15, 2007
MINNEAPOLIS - Senior Kim Richards hit a go-ahead, solo home run in the top of the eight inning, but Minnesota countered with three hits in the bottom half, including a two-run, walk-off single by Shannon Stemper, as the Golden Gophers rallied to the 5-4 win in game one of a Big Ten doubleheader on Sunday, April 15, at Cowles Stadium.
With two down in the top half of the eighth inning, Richards sent the first pitch she saw out of the park just left of the 215 sign down the right field line. Richards' sixth home run of the season gave Indiana a 4-3 lead and put the Hoosiers in position to take game one.
Minnesota (14-16, 1-4) had other plans, however, as Colleen Conway led off the bottom half of the inning with a single off pitcher Monica Wright's glove. Indiana got a big out on the next batter as first baseman Rachel Terry made an excellent grab in foul territory, leaning over the dugout railing to retire Mandy Valedez. Wright then caught Gopher slugger Lisa Parks looking for the second out, but Minnesota would rally. Designated player Katie Meyer doubled to the gap in left center to put runners on second and third, and Stemper followed with a single up the middle to score both runners and end the game.
The Hoosiers (19-20, 1-6 Big Ten) wasted no time getting on the board in the game, plating two runs in the first inning. Junior Julia Hamilton led off the game with an infield single, and went to second on a passed ball. Sophomore Sarah Padove followed with a single to right center to move Hamilton to third, and went to second on the throw in. After a pair of strikeouts, Terry singled up the middle to score Hamilton and Padove, putting the Hoosiers up 2-0 early.
The Golden Gophers answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning on Park's RBI single, but IU got the run right back in the top half of the second. Sophomore Emily Bergeson earned a one-out walk to get things started, and senior Heather Hohs followed with a double to the gap in left center to score Bergeson. Hamilton and Padove followed with a walk and a hit, respectively, to knock Minnesota starter Briana Hassett from the game, but reliever Rene Konderik got a groundout with two down to end the threat.
Minnesota would tie the game in the bottom of the third, getting an RBI single from Valadez to score Megan Higginbotham and an RBI double off the bat of Parks that Hohs lost in the sun.
Now deadlocked at 3-3, Indiana had a solid chance to put another run on the board in the top of the fourth. Richards led off the inning with a single through the left side, and after a Bergerson sacrifice, Hohs reached on an infield single to put runners on the corners with one out. Hohs then stole second to put both runners in scoring position, but Konderik rebounded with a pop fly and a strikeout to escape unscathed.
The Hoosiers missed a golden opportunity in the top of the seventh inning, as the top of the order led off the inning. Indiana could manage just a Jennilee Huddleston double to the gap in right center as Konderik again wriggled off the hook, getting a strikeout to end the inning as IU stranded its seventh runner on base.
The Hoosiers pounded out 11 hits in the contest, with Padove (2-for-4, run), Richards (2-for-4, run, RBI) and Hohs (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, SB) leading the way. Parks was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in for the Gophers.
Wright (12-13) took the loss, allowing five runs on eight hits in 7 2/3 innings. Konderik (4-6) picked up the win in relief, allowing just one run on six hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Indiana returns to action in game two of the doubleheader, which will start at approximately 2:50 p.m. Central.
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